Asparagus in a garden bed ready to be picked.

How To Grow Asparagus From Seed

I have to admit, I was most excited to grow asparagus from seed. It is a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and attention to detail. Asparagus is a perennial vegetable that takes several years to establish, but once established, it can produce a bountiful harvest for up to 20 years. Here are some steps to follow when growing asparagus from seed:

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Start With High-Quality Asparagus Seeds:

Growing asparagus from seed is a challenge to begin with, so you need to start with the very best seeds. Choose seeds from a reputable source, preferably a seed company that specializes in asparagus seeds. Look for seeds that are fresh and have a high germination rate.

The Incredible Seed Company in Canada has great quality asparagus seeds.

shallow photo of asparagus
Photo by Foodie Factor on

Soak The Asparagus Seeds:

Asparagus seeds have a hard outer coat that can slow down germination. To speed up the process, soak the seeds in water for 24-48 hours before planting. This will help soften the outer coat and improve germination rates.

This step is optional. The seeds will germinate without being soaked, it will just take longer.

How To Start Asparagus Seeds Indoors?

To plant asparagus seeds indoors use a high quality seed starting mix or potting soil. Make sure the soil is moist before planting and plant the seeds about half an inch deep.

One benefit of starting your asparagus indoors is that you can use humidity domes and a heat mat to keep the soil moist and warm. This will greatly speed up the process of germination. It can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks for the seeds to germinate.

Can You Direct Sow Asparagus Seeds?

Like any other vegetable, asparagus can be sowed directly into your garden bed from seed. This is a much trickier scenario as you are unable to control the environment.

Make sure to pick a location that gets full sun and has well draining soil that is a least a foot deep.

To direct sow asparagus seeds, plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart in rows that are 18-24 inches apart. Cover the seeds with soil and water well.

Care For Asparagus Seedlings:

Asparagus seedlings can be slow to emerge, so be patient. Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and provide some shade during the hottest part of the day. As the seedlings grow, thin them out so that they are about 6-8 inches apart.

Prepare The Soil For Asparagus:

Two year old asparagus plant in a garden bed.
Second year of growth.

Asparagus prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Soil pH levels should be close to 6.5 to 7.0. It does not do well in highly acidic soils. We use this soil tester to make sure our pH levels are where they need to be.

Choose a sunny location and work in compost or well-rotted manure before planting. Asparagus plants can be quite large, so make sure you give them plenty of space to spread out.

How To Transplant Asparagus Seedlings?

Once the seedlings are 6-8 inches tall they should start to fern out for the first time. Once this happens they can be transplanted outside after any risk of frost has past in your area.

Newly germinated Asparagus seedling
Newly germinated Asparagus seedling

Choose a sunny location, with well-draining soil and dig a small trench. Place the seedlings in the trench, spreading out their roots, and cover with soil. Water well.

If your Asparagus plants are less than 2 years old you will not want to harvest them. Rather, let them grow into large ferns and let them put all their energy into building large root systems.

After 2 years you’ll be able to harvest in the 3rd year for about a month and then let the plants grow out again. Once they’ve grown for 3 full years you’ll be able to start to harvest your Asparagus regularly as the plant will be well established and won’t be harmed by doing so.

How To Maintain The Asparagus Bed?

Asparagus gone full fern. Soaking up sun to energize its root system.
Asparagus Ferns

Asparagus plants require regular watering, especially during dry periods. Fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall. Letting the plant grow into a large fern is a must every year during the last have of the growing season.

Mulch the asparagus bed with a thick layer of organic matter to protect the roots during the winter. After the ferns have turned brown cut them back at soil level. We usually do this in the spring once the snow melts before any asparagus starts to grow.


Growing asparagus from seed can be a rewarding experience, but it requires patience and attention to detail. With proper care, your asparagus plants will provide a bountiful harvest for years to come.

I hope you enjoyed this growing guide. If you did make sure you check out the other growing guides, seed saving guides and our recipes. We are growing our website with more articles all the time, and we invite you to grow with us. If you have any questions about asparagus or would like to share some of your knowledge with us please leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “How To Grow Asparagus From Seed”

    1. Yes you can, but it is not recommended. The seeds take a long time to germinate and would need to overwinter in your garden. The chance of something happening to them would be much higher than planting in the spring. If you’re going to do planting in the fall it is better to start with bare root Asparagus crowns. Planted from seed is better in the spring time when you can nurture the plants and give them time to grow.

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